Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The Left parties here have said there is nothing in the Union Budget for the working class and the unorganised sector, particularly in Karnataka which is witness to one of the largest number of farmers suicides over the past decade. Of a population of nearly 5.5 crore in the State, the strength of the unorganised sector alone is nearly one crore.

The State Secretary of the CPI (M) G.N. Nagaraj and the General Secretary of the AITUC H.V. Ananthasubba Rao told The Hindu here on Wednesday that the gap between the haves and the have-not's is bound to increase.

The Budget has briefly said that one crore people coming under the ambit of the unorganised sector would be covered under social security measures. "There is no mention of job security for the people in the unorganised sector. Of the 40 crore people in the unorganised sector, the Budget has announced a scheme to cover one crore. There are no steps to control the spiralling rise in prices of essential commodities," Mr. Nagaraj said.

Mr. Ananthasubba Rao said the CPI had asked for an income tax relief up to Rs. 2 lakh from the present Rs. 1 lakh for the salaried class. The Union Finance Minister has only given a small relief of an additional Rs. 10,000. With the 17.5 per cent increase in the pay packet of the State Government employees, the Rs. 10,000 relief would have no effect.